About Last Night is a quick reflection on the matches and segments, or random observations, from a wrestling show that sticks out to us the morning after we watch them. If you would like to get your comments featured, chime in below in our comments section or tweet us. You can also help support us on Patreon.
About Having a Happy Rusev Day...
My prayers have been answered! After weeks of trying not to write about the United States Championship feud and instead talking about how Rusev needs something more than the men's battle royal, they decided to inject that stale, terrible story with some Rusev goodness. He replaced an "injured" Sunil Singh for the advertised tag team match where he teamed with Jinder Mahal against Bobby Roode and Randy Orton. Rusev ended up pinning Orton clean and earned himself into the WrestleMania match making it a Fatal 4-Way.
Rusev has to win this match, right? The WWE should know that he is going to have a huge reaction with that crowd chanting "Rusev Day" and crowning him a champion in this environment would give the midcard a strong babyface that it desperately needs rights now. Anything else is unacceptable.
About Daniel Bryan Wrestling at WrestleMania...
Daniel Bryan recovered from the attack last week by Kevin Owens and cut a pretty great promo. He explained that he had given Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn opportunity after opportunity because of their history and friendship together in the indies, but they went too far here. He fought for three years to be able to compete in a WWE ring again, and they tried to take it away from him again. So he is giving them one last chance at WrestleMania - they have to beat him and Shane McMahon in a tag team match to get their jobs back.
There's a lot going on with this match. First is Shane's health, since on Monday he was hospitalized with acute diverticulitis and an umbilical hernia. To be able to bounce back from that and do a match 13 days later is asking a lot, but it seems like they are planning on that. The second thing is that it's pretty clear Owens and Zayn need to win, but having Daniel Bryan lose his big return match in New Orleans seems like a really ill-advised plan. So I have no idea how this will all work out.
About The Tag Team Championships...
The New Day returned to television for the first time since being massacred at Fastlane... only to nearly be massacred again by the Bludgeon Brothers. They did attempt to cut a serious promo beforehand, but it didn't really work all that well. The post-match also didn't do much for me, as it started with the Bludgeon Brothers saying "fuck this" a minute and a half into the match and grab their mallets, only to have the Usos show up to stop them. The Usos and New Day cleared the ring for a second before arguing, which opened a window for the Brothers to take back over. It didn't work as well for me because I've loved the beatdowns being dished out each week establishing Harper and Rowan as dominant monsters, and we just didn't get that this time.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed they end up making this a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match as it would be the perfect set of tools for these three teams to dish out some wild, dangerous spots.
About AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura...
I think I'm finally starting to enjoy the build for the WWE Championship match at WrestleMania. I didn't really need to, because the match sells itself, but it does help make SmackDown easier to watch week to week. Shinsuke Nakamura approached AJ Styles backstage during the show and reminded Styles that he didn't need him last week when he got jumped, but he does need him at ringside for his main event match with Shelton Benjamin. Then after the match Nakamura told him that he didn't need him, Styles got mad at the mind games being played, then Nakamura says Styles will lose because he's too emotional. After Nakamura left, Styles was jumped by Gable & Benjamin so he jumped back in for the save. Noticing Styles was vulnerable, he set up for the Kinshasa but held up before hitting it to pat him on the head.
I'm glad they finally are dedicating some actually time to this feud outside of taking turns beating up someone and giving an actual story. Styles has been hotheaded for a while now, and the calm and collected Nakamura is planning to use this to his advantage. Regardless, this match is going to steal the show at WrestleMania.
About 205 Live...
The Cruiserweight Championship Tournament has its finals already with 2 weeks until WrestleMania, but that doesn't mean the show dipped in quality. We had two excellent matches with Mark Andrews vs. Tony Nese and the Fatal 4-Way match. The main event was stellar, with TJP being the star. He kept doing innovative moves taking on two of the others and it was really fresh and exciting. The whole match seemed to try to keep everyone involved as much as possible, and everyone came out looking like stars.
The opening match though focused on Tony Nese and Mark Andrews fighting over who gets to face Drew Gulak. He may not be champion, but it looks like Gulak is being put in a high position. His character is also coming together well, with him still wearing suits but proclaiming his is the best technical submission wrestler in the company and will make Andrews tap next week. I hope he does get positioned as the next challenger for the title after WrestleMania.
What did you think of this week's SmackDown? Let us know in the comments!